Saturday, September 6, 2008

This Train is Bound for Airport Station...This Train is B...

Short story by Rumple Jones

A blondish child smells polished leather sitting in his stroller as he is lulled to sleep by the white noise in the tunnel and the sway of the metro car. "We are taking a trip" repeats the mother of three in her permed head. The father might as well be wearing a polo shirt and or khaki shorts. He hasn't taken the effort to take off his sunglasses as the train enters the tunnel. Meanwhile the daughter suddenly remembers the precise location of the packed snacks and candy. The now sleeping child is the center of those red leather suitcases like swollen petals of an orchid.
"We are taking a trip" the mother thinks closing her purse. When the brother asks, the father is prepared saying "we have nine more stops to go." And when the sister asks, the father is prepared saying "no." And when the mother asks, the father is prepared saying "no honey."

Oh but, the little girl knows that the packed snacks come in three varieties:
-"The Good Parent"
Nuts and mixed fruits, bland trail mix.

-"The Messy Variety"
Sticky-finger-making sweet foods.

-"The Parental Guilt"
Last Halloween's spoils which were never rationed out as promised.

Everyone must be reassured.
"We are taking a trip"
"Three more stations to go"
"You can hold it"
"Maybe when we get there"
And with much fidgeting and luggage scooting and precarious territoriality of a UMCWASP family on public transit, they have compacted their presence to a mere three seat in-cove near the door. The sleeping child swallowed by the flower, the daughter with sticky fingers, the son slowly leaking into his pants, the father with expensive socks, and the mother contracting a cold she has no knowledge of.

by Rumple Jones

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